On letting go

02/28/2012 at 9:34 am | Posted in Motherhood | 11 Comments
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The steps are padded so she won’t get too hurt if she falls, I tell myself.

Sophie is climbing. Reaching up with little arms, grasping with determined fingers, pulling one leg up, then the other. Lily has already scrambled to the top. Kids swarm around them like flies on honey, scampering up the down part of the slide (why won’t their mothers stop them from doing this?), scaling the sides, stepping over my baby, pushing in front of Lily.

“Go ahead, Lily,” I say. “It’s your turn.”

She gingerly positions herself at the top of the plastic-coated padded “mountain” in the middle of her favorite mall park. Scoots forward, lets go.

I pry Sophie from the steps. She’s too little, I think. She can’t slide yet.

Lily climbs and slides. And repeats.

Sophie watches from her perch on the giant plastic turtle. Clearly discontent, she continues to try to crawl back over to the slide.

She’s too little. Right?

But maybe if Lily holds her. And I hang on from the side of the slide.

Maybe she can do this?

I follow Sophie over to the slide (how did she get so quick on her hands and knees?) and watch as she begins her ascent. This baby is fearless. So unlike her sister. She struggles with the last big step, so I pick her up and plop her between Lily’s legs at the top of the slide. I dash around the fake boulders and take Sophie’s hand. Lily pushes off and Sophie’s face lights up.

They squeal. My heart soars.

We repeat this a few times, then I realize my hand is no longer needed. Lily has a good grip on her sister. The slide is short. The landing is padded.

So I place Sophie in her sister’s lap.

And I let go.


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  1. Letting go is so hard as a parent….so very, very hard.

  2. Loved it.

  3. Oh so beautiful! Letting go – I hate it and love it all at the same time. I held my daughter’s hand as she coasted down many a slide for much longer than I needed to. Congrats to you for knowing it was ok to let go.

  4. Oh this brought tears to my eyes. Such beautiful words, such beautiful girls.

  5. Beautifully written! I think it really is the hardest thing as a mom to do this.

  6. Lovely lovely words. Letting go is so terribly hard, no matter how far they are going!

  7. Precious!!

  8. Oh the letting go…so painful and freeing at the same time. Beautiful post!

  9. I love this. This story made my heart soar.

  10. Awww I think I’m going to cry. So beautiful and so very true.

  11. This made me all teary. Beautiful writing.

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